THE LOVED ONE (1965) B/W widescreen 116m dir: Tony Richardson
w/Robert Morse, Jonathan Winters, Anjanette Comer, Rod Steiger, Dana Andrews, Milton Berle, James Coburn, John Gielgud, Tab Hunter, Lionel Stander, Margaret Leighton
The irreverent humor in this film is not for every taste, but check it out if you're in the mood for something really different. Winters, playing twin brothers, is terrific.
From The Movie Guide: "This spoof of morticians and funerals captures much of the macabre hilarity in the [Evelyn] Waugh novel but failed to impress critics at the time of release. It often sinks into broad burlesque due to [Terry] Southern and [Christopher] Isherwood's heavy-handed script, but the laughs are still there. Morse, a naive, rather gawky character from England, visits his uncle, Gielgud, an aging, fussy art director living in a dilapidated Hollywood mansion. When his studio fires him, Gielgud hangs himself. Robert Morley, head of the British community of Hollywood talent, arrives and instructs Morse to have Gielgud buried at Whispering Glades Memorial Park (the real-life Forest Lawn), the most resplendent funeral grounds in America, run by Winters. In the process of contacting morticians, Morse obtains a job at a pet cemetery run by Winters' twin brother (also played by Winters), and the various schemes, scams, and lack of concern by morticians for both humans and pets are revealed in all their callous glories. A host of bizarre characters then parade through Morse's life, including Comer, a sultry, naive beauty he covets and who is lusted after by Winters (the one running the high-class mortuary) and Steiger, a crackpot cosmetologist who works with her. ... Morse is unappealing, but the supporting players, especially Winters, and bits performed by Stander, Coburn, and Hunter are funny."